[Briefing]55th Monthly Briefing and Discussion

3 Mar 2021
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After a hiatus of almost 2 years, NKDB officially resumed their monthly briefings last week on February 25, 2021! NKDB's Monthly Briefings and Discussion on North Korean Human Rights is a place for diplomats, foreign correspondents and other members of the international community to hear about the latest research and issues surrounding the North Korean human rights situation.
However, for the first time in NKDB's history of holding the Monthly Briefings, rather than discussing the current status of human rights in North Korea, Hanna Song, Director of International Cooperation, discussed the status of NKDB's work the past year in light of the Ministry of Unification's blockage of NKDB's access to Hanawon.
In March 2020, the South Korean Ministry of Unification (MOU) revoked NKDB's access to Hanawon, the government resettlement center that newly arrived North Korean defectors go through to transition into South Korean society. Through this revocation, the MOU prohibited all civil society organizations from accessing Hanawon, effectively monopolizing the flow of credible information.
NKDB publications, particularly the annual White Paper on North Korean Human Rights and the White Paper on Religious Freedom in North Korea, heavily rely on surveys and in-depth interviews conducted via access to Hanawon. While these developments have made NKDB's work more difficult, we will always continue to strive to provide reliable data regarding human rights in North Korea.